RICHMOND — The father-in-law of a Marine sergeant killed in combat last week in Afghanistan said his son-in-law was “a nice guy who tended to put other people before himself.”

Sgt. Kevin Balduf, 27, of Nashville, Tenn., died Thursday “while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan,” the Department of Defense announced in a news release Monday. Lt. Col. Benjamin J. Palmer, 43, of Modesto, Calif., was also killed.

Balduf’s wife, Amy, is a Richmond native and still lives there, as does her parents. The Baldufs’ daughters, Eden, 3, and Stephanie, 5, are staying with Amy Balduf’s parents in Richmond, according to Al Sutherland, Amy Balduf’s father.

“He was a Marine’s Marine, gung ho,” Al Sutherland said of his son-in-law. “But he was somebody who didn’t brag about himself. ‘I did my job,’ that’s all he’d say. He was humble.”

The former Amy Sutherland graduated from Richmond High School in 2003. The couple were married in Maine in 2006 at Sugarloaf.

Sutherland said the family appreciated everything the community has done for them.


“Just say their prayers, that’s all we’d ask,” he said. “Pray for our granddaughters and our daughter and, obviously, for Kevin.”

Sutherland said his daughter was in North Carolina doing paperwork but was expected to return to Maine soon.

He said his daughter “is doing as well as can be expected. Doing what she needs to do.”

Balduf was a radio operator assigned to the 8th Communications Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Sutherland said Balduf was in his second stint in Afghanistan.

He said his son-in-law earned the Bronze Star in his first deployment in the wartorn country “for putting himself in harm’s way to call in an air strike to protect his fellow Marines.”

Balduf’s funeral will be at Arlington National Cemetery. A memorial service has not been announced.


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